This I Believe

Mary Glenn - New Bern, North Carolina
Entered on April 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Music…Joy in This Lifetime and the Next

I believe that music brings joy to people’s lives. Since I was three years old, I have been playing the violin. I have played at weddings, church services, recitals, and even at school. I never really realized how much people appreciated music until I started performing more publicly. Many people that I did not even know would come to me after performances and tell me how nice it was to hear music like that and that it truly touched them. I could never forget how those compliments made me feel. I felt like I had really done something special for these people. For a few minutes I had really brought joy into their lives. Bringing the joy can sometimes be extremely hard. This past summer I was faced with one of the hardest tasks as a musician.

This past summer my great-grandfather, Pap, who was over ninety years old, passed away. It was a huge shock to everyone. Yes, he was very old, but he was in great health. It was just a very unexpected death. My grandfather had always loved listening to me play the violin. In fact, just that fall I played my violin at my great-grandparent’s church for the celebration of their seventieth wedding anniversary. Whenever someone mentioned me playing the violin you could see Pap’s eyes light up with joy. So, it was no surprise when I was asked to play my violin in his funeral. Thinking of how my music had brought joy throughout his life, I knew it was my duty to play at his funeral. I played in the funeral of a family friend before, so I knew that it would be difficult, but I was willing to do it. The one time that I cried while playing my violin was at Pap’s funeral. Looking around as I played, I noticed that no one could even look at me. The sobs from the crowd were overwhelming. I knew everyone was sad, but I thought to myself no, these are tears of joy; tears of joy for my great-grandfather. He was being laid to rest by the sound of my music, something he loved. After the ceremony several people came up to me and told me what a nice thing it was that I had done for him. They all said Pap would have really appreciated it. I realized something at that moment in time: music brings joy to people’s lives not only in this lifetime . . . but in the next, and this I believe.